The Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic was announced in March 2020, it’s an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Some people infected with this virus experienced mild to moderate respiratory illness and recovered without special treatments, while some were seriously ill and required medical attention. People with underlying medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, or cancer and older people were prone to develop serious illnesses due to the virus.
The virus can be transmitted from an infected person’s mouth or nose through liquid particles when they sneeze, cough, breathe or speak. Preventive measures were implemented like protecting yourself and others from infection by staying at least 1 meter apart from others, wearing a mask, and washing your hands or sanitizing using an alcohol-based rub frequently.The plans to contain the outbreak included stay at home policies, travel restrictions, and quarantine of Infected people.
Implementation of Restrictive Policies
The policies put in place had a huge impact on numerous businesses in several countries around the world. The global crisis sent shock waves through health systems, economies, and societies, and the Gambling industry was not exempted.
Land-based gambling venues such as casinos, horse racing tracks, bars and clubs with gaming machines, casino resorts, betting shops and poker rooms were forced to close down operations during the first phase of lockdown in March and April 2020. In the second phase of restrictions, some venues re-opened in a modified version to avoid less contact, while others remain closed.
The availability and accessibility of land based casinos decreased drastically as the future remained unknown and unpredictable during the course of the pandemic. The region of Macau recorded the biggest downfall as its revenues dropped by 93.2%, the Nevada region had a revenue drop of 53.38%. Las Vegas also had a loss of 39.57% in its revenue. The drop in revenue of these regions results in loss of large amounts of money, as you can see, the areas with the most casinos suffered the most harm from Covid-19 due to the decline in economy.
Unexpectedly Increasing Gambling Popularity
Despite the decline in the economy of businesses, media reports indicated that some businesses, in fact, flourished.
For online gambling, the pandemic served as an opportunity to promote and increase its popularity. Online casino websites like National Casino typically provide the full gambling experience for users, with a range of gambling activities that include lottery ticket sales, table games such a roulette, blackjack and craps, slot machines, online poker and sports betting.
Sport betting was not available during the pandemic as there was a huge reduction of professional sporting activities worldwide. According to statistics, the online gambling industry showed growth of 78% in 2020 from its 62% in 2019. A total of 30% signed up for online casinos and 5% were first-timers. The general motive for people who engaged in online gambling during the pandemic was to eliminate boredom since they couldn’t go to the places they used to visit before.
The pandemic can be said to have both negative and positive effects on the gambling industry.